28th Annual Allardt Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-off Set for Oct. 5
By Sandra Turner
It’s pumpkin time again in Allardt, Tennessee. Somewhere a giant sprawls contented in the patch, coddled and gorged, gaining 20 pounds or more every day. Patiently he waits to mount the scales for his moment of glory at Allardt’s Saturday, Oct. 5 weigh-off. Will he be the long awaited 2,000 pounder? Maybe.
Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia state records have been broken in previous years at the Allardt GPC weigh-off for both giant pumpkins and green squash. Massive watermelons brought by world record holder Chris Kent of Sevierville have been weighed in Allardt as well. The 2018 big pumpkin winner was John Van Hook of Somerset, KY, with his 1,293 pound entry. In 2017 John and James Van Hook broke the Allardt weigh-off record as well as the state of Kentucky record with their 1,594 pound pumpkin.
Prizes of $1000, $600, and $400 will go to the top pumpkin, watermelon, and green squash respectively, with lesser amount for 2nd through 5th place winners. An assortment of corn stalks, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflowers and other entries will compete for recognition in addition to the giant vegetables. The weigh-off at the Sandy’s Diner building is set for 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. (Central Time). Register your entries there from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. John Gunter, Fentress County UT Agriculture Agent, is this event’s site coordinator, and Dwight Dixon, USDA Fentress County Soil Conservation District Conservationist, will again serve as master of ceremonies.
Thousands of festival goers will flock to this favorite fall event, drawn by giant vegetables, plus a spectacular region-wide auto show, food and craft vendors in Bruno Gernt Park, live entertainment on-stage at City Hall, a Pumpkin Run, motorcycle and tractor shows, a parade at 3 p.m. (Central), and a children’s costume contest (10 a.m.). Pooch Parade, a dog costume contest and this year’s new event, will present at 4:30 p.m. as the final onstage program, sponsored by Best Friends Sanctuary.
A pre-festival Great Pumpkin Beauty Pageant sponsored by Clarkrange Drug Center is set for Sept. 28 in Jamestown. See more information about entries and time schedules at the Allardt Pumpkin Festival Facebook page or allardtpumpkinfestival.com.
Pumpkin Festival Chairman Cathy Jeffers will officially open the festival at 10 a.m. (Central) October 5 at Allardt City Hall with introductions of the 2019 Festival King and Queen and pageant winners from the September 28 event. A costume contest sponsored by Progressive Savings Bank for children up to age 12 will follow. Register for the contest beside the stage at 9:30 a.m.
Live music and entertainment on stage at City Hall starts at 12:30 p.m. to run until the 3 p.m. parade. Singers and musicians resume following the parade at 3:45 p.m. Headlining the event will be The Lovers from NBC’s show “The Voice” with performances also by musical groups, Southern Comfort and Higher Ground. William Bilbrey (Millenium Sound) is entertainment coordinator.
Stephen Williams, assisted by the York Institute Cheerleaders, spearheads the Clyde and Zelia Stephens Memorial Auto Show, sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts. Register your entry from 8 a.m. until noon at the 4-way stop in Allardt. Entries can expect lots of prizes, awards, and cash giveaways.
The Motorcycle Show, coordinated by J.J. Johnson and sponsored by Micro Metals Inc.,
will also present trophies and prizes. Antique tractor exhibitors will gather near the auto show and participate along with autos and motorcycles in the 3 p.m. parade. Dustin Garrett coordinates the tractor show, sponsored by Twin Lakes Lawn & Tractor, Cookeville, and Garrett Tractor Repair and Restoration, Jamestown.
Runners start off the day at 7 a.m. (Central) at Allardt School for the annual Pumpkin Run, a qualifying race this year. There are 10k, 5k, and 3k runs and a one-mile Fun Run. Pick up an entry form at Hall Family Pharmacy, event sponsor in Jamestown. You may also register the morning of the run. A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit to benefit the Kirby Johnson Ballpark and Fentress County Youth Sports.
Quality Private Care is also sponsoring this event.
The Pumpkin Festival Parade, a highlight of the day, will step off at 3 p.m. led by the winning giant pumpkin and the Festival King and Queen. Crystal Tompkins is parade chairman.
For the best festival food in the Southeast make your way to the Bruno Gernt Park and sample the highly sought pumpkin rolls, fried pies, fried Oreos, pumpkin and nut breads, rolled ice cream, and the usual funnel cakes and specialty popcorn. There is more substantial fare as well – tasty barbecue at the Allardt Fire Hall, plus hamburgers, hot dogs, pinto beans and corn bread, and barbecue from vendors in the park.
Shop for festival t-shirts at the Information Booth #4 in the park. Scores of vendors will offer crafts and decorative items, including handmade wreaths, quilts, afghans, Christmas decorations, wood crafts, artwork, jewelry, purses, and numerous other items. Vendor park sponsors are Micro Metals, Inc. and Top of the Hill Properties. Cathy Jeffers is coordinator.
This event is totally free to attend and there is no charge for parking in designated parking areas.
For more information on events and times, see the Allardt Pumpkin Festival Facebook page or AllardtPumpkinFestival.com or the Fentress Courier for a full event schedule.
Here's a link to the 2019 Pumpkin Festival Beauty Pageant entry form.
Click here for the form and all information about the pageant
28th Annual Allardt Great Pumpkin Festival
and Weigh-off, Saturday, October 5
Allardt's 28th Annual Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-off is set for Saturday, October 5. (One day only.) Food and crafts vendors will be set up in Bruno Gernt Park all day. (Allardt is in the Central Time Zone.)
Pumpkin Run - Registration 7 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. Oct. 5 at Allardt School. Line-up 7:45 to 8 a.m., and start time at 8 a.m. Categories of entry are 10K run, 5K run, 3K, and 1 mile Fun Run. Entry fee is $15 for the 10k, 5K, and 3k, ($40 for family 3+ entries) and $10 for the 1 mile Fun Run. Sponsored by Hall Family Pharmacy and Quality Private Care to benefit the Kirby Johnson Ballpark and Fentress County Youth Sports. Entry forms available at Hall Family Pharmacy. Submit completed form and fee to Hall Family Pharmacy or mail to Hall Family Pharmacy, P O Box 420, Jamestown, TN 38556. Or register the morning of the run. New this year – this is a qualifying race.
Festival Kick-off Ceremonies –10 a.m. at Allardt City Hall. Chairman Cathy Jeffers will welcome everyone and present the 2019 Great Pumpkin Festival King and Queen and the Pumpkin Festival Beauty Pageant winners.
Children's Costume Contest - 10 a.m. on stage at Allardt City Hall. Registration at 9:30 a.m. Categories: Ages 0-2 years; 3-5 years; 6-8 years; 9-12 years; and group. Any costume theme acceptable. No live animals, please. Sponsored by Progressive Savings Bank.
Homemade Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Roll Contest – Registration of entries 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Allardt Fire Hall. The $10 entry fee will go to the Allardt Volunteer Fire Department with the actual desserts being served with the meals purchased at the Fire Hall. All proceeds go to the Allardt Fire Department. The first place winners in each of the two categories will get $200 each with the 2nd place winners receiving $50. Winners announced on stage at noon.
Weigh-Off of Pumpkins and Other Vegetables – Register your pumpkins, squash, watermelons, and other vegetables from 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the Sandy’s Diner building. Entry fee $10. The actual weigh-off will take place between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Allardt is an official GPC weigh-off site.
- Pumpkins - First place - $1000 (2nd – 10th place – $400, $300, $200, $100, $50, $25)
- Watermelons - First place - $600 (2nd – 5th place – $300, $200, $100, $50)
- Green Squash - First place - $400 (2nd – 5th place – $300, $200, $100, $50)
- Prettiest Pumpkin - $100
The big pumpkin winner must ride in the parade or be disqualified. See rules and regulations at www.allardtpumpkinfestival.com. Dwight Dickson will serve as master of ceremonies. John Gunter will serve as the Site Coordinator. (Weigh-off scales supplied by Fairfield Scales, Nashville.)
Clyde and Zelia Stephens Memorial Auto Show
Registration Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon Central Time at the 4-Way Stop in Allardt. $10 registration fee. ALL cars and trucks welcome!
- Pumpkin Queens Choice Trophy
- Awards to Top 25. Dash plaques to the first 300 entries.
- Gift Cards and Car Wash Bucket giveaways.
- Awards and prizes start at 2:00 p.m. day of show registration only.
- Swap meet spaces (auto related items only) 15’ x 20’ - $25.
- Event chairman: Stephen Williams, 931-265-3264.
- Sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts
Registration Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon Central Time at Allardt Land Company. $10 registration fee. ALL motorcycles welcome!
- 1st - 3rd Pumpkin Queens Choice Trophies
- Awards and Prize giveaways at Auto Show at 2:00 pm
- Day of show registration only
- Event chairman – J.J. Johnson, 931-397-0678.
- Sponsored by Union Bank and Micro Metals Inc.
Antique Tractor Show - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gernt Lumber Yard behind Allardt Land Company. Event Chairman Dustin Garrett (931-319-1871). Participants will receive commemorative plaques or trophies. Sponsored by Twin Lakes Lawn and Tractor and Garrett Tractor Repair and Restoration, Jamestown. Freebies: steinertractorparts.com
Pumpkin Festival Parade - 3 p.m. – The parade is always a highlight of the day and one of the largest parades of the year for Fentress County. As usual, parade entries will line up on the Baseline Road. To line up, follow Highway 52 E from Allardt past the orange water tower to the Les Franklin Road. Turn left at the Les Franklin Road. Then enter the Baseline Road from the Les Franklin Road only. The deadline for entries is noon Thursday, October 3. Call Crystal Tompkins at 879-5897 or 397-3495 to register and for additional information.
Thanks to Jordan Owens & The Jamestown Supercenter for providing a truck for the winning pumpkin.
Entertainment and On Stage Schedule – Allardt City Hall. William Bilbrey, entertainment chairman.
- 9:30 am – Costume Contest Registration
- 10:00 am – Pageant Winners and King & Queen Introduction / Costume Contest
- 12:00 – 12:45 pm – The Lovers from NBC’s show “The Voice”
- 2:00 – 3:00 pm – Southern Comfort
- 3:00 – 3:45 pm – Parade – Main Stage Break
- 3:45 – 4:30 pm – Higher Ground
- 4:30 – 5:30 pm – Pooch Parade
Pooch Parade – This year’s newest event is a costume contest for your favorite dog! Entries will register at 4:00 pm at Allardt City Hall with the actual contest starting at 4:30 on stage at City Hall. Dogs will compete in one big category for the top 5 Best Dressed Pooches at the Pumpkin Festival. Any costume theme is acceptable. All entrants must stay on a leash and show proof of current shot records including rabies and distemper shots. Copies are not necessary. Proof of bordetella shots are encouraged, but not required. The entry fee of $10 per dog will go to support Best Friends Sanctuary, Pooch Parade Sponsor.
No fireworks this year because of the extremely dry conditions.
Crafts and Food Vendors - Bruno Gernt Park, all day. All vendors set up anywhere in Allardt and who have not paid the fee are asked to purchase a vendor's permit for $25 at Allardt City Hall and keep it at their site during the festival. The permit verifies that vendors have helped support the festival by their contribution toward festival expenses. The vendor park is sponsored by Micro Metals and Top of the Hill Properties. Cathy Jeffers, event chairman.
~ Free Parking and Free Admission ~
Weigh-off and Festival Event Sponsors and Contributors:
Allardt Land Company, Best Friends Sanctuary, City of Jamestown, Clarkrange Drug Center, Conditioned Heating & Cooling, Dave Kirk Automotive, Dilip Joshi, M.D., Fentress County Soil Conservation District, Fentress County Farm Bureau, Fentress County Solid Waste, Fentress County Soil Conservation District, Fentress Courier, First Volunteer Bank, Garrett Tractor Repair & Restoration, Hall Family Pharmacy, Jimtown Florist, Micro Metals Inc., Moody’s Automotive, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Progressive Savings Bank, Quality Private Care, R&T Trophies, Representative John Mark Windle, Senator Ken Yager, Steiner Tractor Parts, Top of the Hill Properties, Twin Lakes Tractor and Lawn, and Union Bank, UT Extension Service. Jordan Owens & The Jamestown Supercenter